Yesterday, I joined Osvaldo Quintero, Rafael Luck and Itzel Fong in a day-trip to Cerro Azul, the gated community in the foothills to the east of Panama City. Our destination was Birder's View, known by its well-kept hummingbird feeders and lush garden attracting many species of birds. At our arrival, we were attracted to the feeders... just like the tons of hummingbirds swarming around!
What a great spectacle! Both White-necked Jacobin and Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer (like the one above) were the most common species. Those red feet are so distinctive among the Panamanian hummingbirds. Other common species was the Snowy-bellied Hummingbird. Notice the sharp contrast between the iridescent green breast and the snowy white belly. They have an easily recognizable call, quite metallic in quality.
As I said before, Cerro Azul is the most reliable site (in the world) to find the near-endemic for Panama Violet-capped Hummingbird. This bird is very special... and beautiful... the only member of the genus Goldmania. With the right angle, these birds literally glow!
The same for this Crowned (Violet-crowned) Woodnymph. Usually, it looks pretty dark... almost black, but then... PAM! Shock of color!
Other common species at the feeders were the Rufous-tailed Hummingbird and Green Hermits. In fact, one of these hermits was trapped inside the house. Luckily, Carlos (the house keeper) rescued him and released it smoothly.
Some other regular species were present in lower numbers, like the Violet-headed Hummingbird (one of my favorites) and the stunning Purple-crowned Fairy. This one looked like a stuffed bird!
The Long-billed Starthroat and the Green-crowned Brilliant made a single appearance, not enough for photos. However, we did not lack subjects to photograph. Not only hummingbirds were attending the feeders: Bananaquits, Green, Red-legged and Shining Honeycreepers were trying to slurp a bit of sugar water. We even saw a male Yellow-faced Grassquit drinking at the feeder.
What a great day in the foothills!